The Australasian Catholic Coalition for Church Reform is very concerned about the confusing leadership on immunization of the Catholic Church in Australia.
Kim Chen, President of Concerned Catholics Tasmania, speaking on behalf of the Coalition, expressed dismay that Archbishop Porteous of Hobart is focusing and the Archbishop’s public position is on supporting priests with an “objection of awareness of vaccination “rather than protecting those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Likewise, the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, questions the decision of the government of New South Wales to show proof of vaccination before worshipers can enter, on the grounds that worship is “an essential service. , not a simple recreation â, a dubious assertion.
Public statements of this nature by Church leaders irresponsibly discourage vaccination to the general detriment of our community. People who are not vaccinated are not only at personal risk, but also at higher risk to others around them.
The positions taken by Archbishops Fisher and Porteous contrast with the Vatican’s position which urged people to get vaccinated for their own health and for the health of the community at large.
And the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference (ACBC) has encouraged Catholics to receive a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, noting that it is “morally permissible” to accept any vaccine.
Kim Chen pointed out that the archbishops ‘positions also contrast with Pope Francis’ description of vaccination as âan act of loveâ.
Chen added that there is a moral imperative to protect the health of vulnerable people and that unvaccinated people put the health of vulnerable people at risk.
âBy taking such a public stance, these archbishops are not only endangering the health of vulnerable people; they also create a doubt in the minds of Catholics that might dissuade them from getting the vaccine, âChen said.
The Coalition believes that it is a moral failure to encourage any unnecessary interaction of unvaccinated people with other vulnerable people. Religious leaders have a special obligation to promote immunization for the benefit of the community at large.
Many Catholics fear that misinformed leadership on the part of bishops could impact many other critical issues at the upcoming Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia.
âMany Catholics are increasingly concerned that many leaders in their Church are not listening to the people of the Church and are not providing truly Christian leadership. The Plenary Council Assembly October 3-10, 2021 is an opportunity for the Church in Australia to reject autocratic and clerical leaders who do not listen to the people of the Church, âsaid Chen.